Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Turkey Free Thanksgiving Entertaining

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday! Families come together to enjoy each other and a good meal without the pressure of finding the right gift. But lets face it, not everyone should be whipping up a full Thanksgiving spread. If your idea of a delicious meal includes ramen noodles or you can’t quite remember how the inside of your kitchen looks, you should probably not be using your family and friends as guinea pigs on such a special day.

Still want to play hostess? Why not organize your own pre or post Thanksgiving Day celebration. Here are some ideas on how to have people over without getting stuck thawing out a 20lb bird.

Just Dessert- Tell everyone to leave dessert off their grocery list this year. Invite them over to your place Thanksgiving evening for a selection of delectable holiday treats. You could even put together a make your own sundae or cookie decorating station. Compliment cakes and pies with seasonal teas and flavored coffee. For a more adult soirée whip up a little Irish coffee, Kahlua spiked hot cocoa, or cranberry martinis. Don't forget to put together take home bags with a few of your favorite cookies and a recipe card. Another fun take home gift is a Thanksgiving survival kit with a few items like antacids or Red bull for early morning shopping.

Black Friday Brunch- Host a brunch for all those hardcore shoppers in your life. Once they're done hitting the stores they can stop by your place for pancakes or (my favorite) french toast. No need to do it all on your own. Why not focus on making those pancakes perfect and order sides like eggs and sausage from a local caterer. I like MENUS by Occasions Caterers. They have these really great potato cuts filled with egg and cheese.

Here's my own extra special French Toast recipe

Cinnamon raisin bread
4 eggs
1 cup of milk
4 tsp brown sugar
(a couple sprinkles) cinnamon
(a couple sprinkles) nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
(enough to lightly grease the pan while cooking) butter

Makes 10-12 pieces of toast

Break eggs into a wide, shallow bowl or pie plate; beat lightly with a fork. Stir in brown sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and milk.
Over medium-low heat, heat griddle or skillet coated with a thin layer of butter (or margarine).Place the bread slices, one at a time, into the bowl or plate, letting slices soak up egg mixture for a few seconds, then carefully turn to coat the other side. Soak/coat only as many slices as you will be cooking at one time.Transfer bread slices to griddle or skillet, heating slowly until bottom is golden brown. Turn and brown the other side. While still hot, sprinkle with brown sugar or powdered sugar. Serve with butter, syrup, or fruit topping.

Start a Tradition-Invite everyone to a touch football game, holiday movie marathon, or game night. Nothing gets the season started like some good old holiday theme karaoke. Families are often looking for something to do to stay entertained after dinner. Keeping everyone engaged and providing some planned activities can help to establish lasting traditions. I also love the idea of having the whole family volunteer the day before or even the morning of Thanksgiving. If you're staying in the DC area, join the Help the Homeless Walkathon on November 22.

Anything But Turkey- People often go into Turkey overload on Thanksgiving. I get to a point where I want to toss the leftovers out the window and dive face first into some chicken lo mien. Your home could be the beacon of hope for all those suffering from too many turkey sandwiches. Have people over for just about anything other than turkey on Saturday or Sunday. Try a light healthy meal like a really great entree salad or veggie fajitas.

Happy Planning,



.elle denise. said...

Good ideas (especially the dessert part... yum-MO) LOL

Guru said...

Thanks,Elle. After all..dessert is the best part!